The Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act would allow for the time a patient spends in the hospital under observation to count toward the three-day minimum for coverage of skilled nursing care at the hospital. It would also create a 90-day appeal period for patients who had a qualifying hospital stay but were denied coverage of skilled nursing care dating back to Jan. 1, 2013.
“Recovering seniors shouldn’t have to choose between getting care and not getting care based on this bureaucratic little niche,” Brown said.
The bill was first introduced in Congress in 2011, but died in a House committee. The revived legislation has the support of the AARP, American Medical Association and even local hospitals.
“We support Sen. Brown’s efforts to look at this issue,” said Bryan Bucklew, president and CEO of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association. “Our hospitals make a very conscious effort to let people know what their insurance covers and what their status is. But there’s lot of confusion with regard to the regulations, so any effort to look at this issue is a very positive step for everyone.”